Welcoming our Newest Director

We are pleased to announce that Mary Bianchi is the newest member to join our Board of Directors. Her experience and connections to our agricultural community make her a valuable addition. With the appointment of Mary, we now have a full 9-member Board of Directors for the first time in over 5 years!

More about Mary:

Mary Bianchi is a retired University of California Horticulture Advisor from San Luis Obispo County and was the Program Advisor for the UC Master Gardener Programs in San Luis Obispo and in Santa Barbara Counties.  She also served as County Director for UC Cooperative Extension programs in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties from 2013 to 2017.  Mary holds BS and MS degrees in soils and agricultural sciences from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  During her career, she worked with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Santa Cruz, Tulare, Napa, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties and at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center.  She transferred to San Luis Obispo County in September 1992.  After 26 years in SLO County, Mary retired in June 2017.

Mary is a member of the Soil Science Society of America, the American Society for Horticultural Science, the California Avocado Society, and the California Chapter of the American Society of Agronomy.

You can meet Mary and all of our board members at any of our upcoming meetings, which are always open to the public.

Volunteer Opportunity-April 6 & 7

The Watershed Stewards Program is excited to announce an opportunity to participate in an ecological enhancement project at the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve (the Ranch) in Cambria, CA. All are welcome to this two day event, taking place on April 6th and 7th from 9am – 1pm each day. The purpose of this project is to protect the population of steelhead trout in Santa Rosa Creek by reducing the threat of a large wildfire on the Ranch. A large wildfire could result in increased sediment entering the creek through the erosion of exposed soils, negatively impacting steelhead habitat. This project also aims to improve the current condition of steelhead habitat by enhancing the ripararian corridor along Santa Rosa Creek.  

On Saturday April 6th, volunteers will mitigate the potential for a hazardous wildfire on the Ranch by creating a fuel break in the understory of a Monterey pine forest. This will involve hiking a short distance off trail to collect dry woody debris from the forest floor, and hauling it to a staging area to be chipped into mulch for use around the Ranch.

On Sunday April 7th, volunteers will improve the plant community along the riparian corridor of Santa Rosa Creek by removing invasive weeds and planting 100 native trees and shrubs! Volunteers will also spread mulch created through processing dry woody debris the day before.


Volunteers are invited to participate on either day for any length of time, though they are encouraged to arrive by 9am to receive an orientation regarding the day’s work plan. Be sure to wear sturdy closed-toe shoes, pants, and a long sleeved shirt. Tools and equipment will be provided, as well as personal protective equipment including gloves, hardhats, safety glasses, and tyvek suits (disposable coveralls). Refreshments will be provided including water, coffee, and snacks. Volunteers are asked to bring personal water bottles and coffee mugs.


From San Luis Obispo head north on CA-1 N to Cambria, after intersecting Burton Drive, in 0.8 miles park on the large pull-out located on the left (west) side of CA-1 OR pass through the gate at the pull-out and park on the side of the gravel road. Follow event signs from the trailhead.

Saturday April 6th

Sunday April 7th

For any questions, please contact David Lopez-Portillo by email: David@us-ltrcd.org or by phone: (805) 434-0396 ext. 3196  


SLO County Stormwater Resources Plan

The San Luis Obispo County Stormwater Resource Plan (SWRP) project is being administered by Coastal San Luis Resource Conservation District (CSLRCD) in partnership with a Project Management Team (PMT) comprised of representatives from Upper Salinas- Las Tablas RCD (USLTRCD), the County of San Luis Obispo, and the City of Arroyo Grande. This project is a coordinated and collaborative regional effort to develop a plan for stormwater management that is watershed-based and yields multiple benefits and complies with guiding principles of regulatory agencies. The State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) has adopted Stormwater Resource Plan Guidelines that provides baseline requirements for watershed-based Stormwater Resource Plans. In addition, Stormwater Resource Plans are required as a condition of receiving funding for stormwater and dry weather runoff capture projects funded partially or entirely with state funds.
Community involvement is essential in the development and acceptance of the SWRP. The PMT, Technical Advisory Committee (TAC), and team of consultants are conducting public meetings and outreach to community stakeholders, including local watershed groups, nonprofit organization, cities, and government agencies, and special districts to solicit community comments, feedback, and provide input on stormwater projects for San Luis Obispo County.
Stakeholders and interested members of the public are invited to become involved with the SWRP development by attending upcoming stakeholder meetings. The next meeting will be held at the SLO Library on Thursday June 7th from 9-11am.

To stay up to date on the progress of the SWRP, please visit the County’s Stormwater Resource Plan website.